MSPC grew rapidly from a small grassroots project we started in the school year 2015-16 in Nkhata Bay, Malawi. It was based around teachers teaching permaculture skills and ideas to primary schools through the medium of an after school permaculture club incorporating both practical and theory aspects. The success of the programme that year encouraged us to isolate the factors we felt were important and see if we could upscale the programme; offering interested teachers the tools they needed to include permaculture and environmental issues into the school programme.
From the start it has been funded through small scale means; we started with a Crowdfunder in 2016 which enabled the initial expansion to 4 schools in year 2 and into year three with 9 schools. We then won the Lush Spring Prize in 2018 and this allowed us to continue the expansion to 15 and 22 schools in year four and five respectively. Josie and Kate have volunteered themselves throughout but as the programme grows this becomes increasingly difficult.
The expansion of the programme has also seen lots of potential expansion areas linked to, but on top of, the core programme in Nkhata Bay. We need to seek ways to improve the programme and make our core programme more sustainable in the long term, we need to find ways to make the programme more widely available and follow up on the many potential links to the programme.
We believe that the development of our partner programme in particular will offer potential in the longer term to support the core programme, but in order to get to this stage, and develop many different strands we need to source funds in the shorter term. These funds would both cover the core programme in Nkhata Bay and also to provide salaries for the Malawi and UK teams so that more time can be spent learning, sharing and linking the programme to push it to its full potential. Our funding goals however wouldn't be limited to these activities and would cover things like the core programme going forward in Nkhata Bay, developments to the programme, one-off capital purchases, development of the feedback mechanisms, expansion into community work.